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Deed, not Breed - a blog by Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn

Picture of XL bully type dog with No Bad Breed wording

In this blog and the video below, our Chief Superintendent, Mike Flynn, explains why we don't believe that banning XL bullies is the answer to safeguarding people from out of control dogs.

You may have heard Rishi Sunak announce that XL bullies are going to become a banned breed by the end of this year.

We do not believe this is the answer.

Our thoughts are with the families of those who have been injured or killed by XL bully dogs. However, we believe that injuries and deaths are fully preventable with responsible ownership of these dogs. Action needs to be taken to better safeguard people from dangerous dogs, but banning a breed is not the solution.

We fully support legislation to protect the public. We believe any breed of dog can be potentially out of control and dangerous in the wrong hands. These dogs are very powerful and require owners who can manage them, and keep them under control.

It has been against the law for decades to allow an out of control dog in a private or public place.

Banning XL bullies under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 will add to already flawed legislation. The 1991 Act needs to be properly and fully enforced by the police and appropriate sentences handed out.

We believe that anyone found guilty of owning a dangerous dog that has been involved in an attack should be automatically banned for life from owning another dog.

The XL bully is a cross breed and there is no Kennel Club standard. Identifying an XL bully will be based on size, weight and certain characteristics which can mean dogs may be incorrectly determined as an XL bully.

As there is no Kennel Club standard this also means many people could be breeding these dogs with no regard for health or temperament. Dogs bred and raised in low-welfare environments are more prone to both health and behavioural issues than those from reputable breeders.

Banning the XL bully is unlikely to stop people, who are breeding dogs for the wrong reasons, from creating another aggressive and powerful cross breed of dog.

We would like to see an end to irresponsible ownership and low-welfare breeding practices rather than adding another breed to an already flawed piece of legislation. We still believe the law should be based on deed and not breed.

We are also part of the Dog Control Coalition (DCC) that is also calling for an overhaul of the 1991 Act. The Chief Executives of all DCC members have signed a joint letter to the Home Secretary following her recent announcement highlighting that the current Dangerous Dogs Act is fundamentally flawed, does not protect the public and that banning individual breeds or types of dog is not the way forward.

DCC consists of BVA, Blue Cross, Dogs Trust, Hope Rescue, RSPCA, Battersea, The Kennel Club and the Scottish SPCA.

Read more about our No Bad Breed campaign.




If anyone is concerned about an animal, please do not hesitate to contact our confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.

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